What causes os­teoarthri­tis?

Waikato News - - NEWS - John Arts

Os­teoarthri­tis (OA) is the most com­mon cause of joint pain. All chronic dis­ease starts with dam­age to cer­tain cell types. This then dam­ages tis­sue which causes the symp­toms we feel.

The real driver be­hind car­ti­lage loss is the health of spe­cialised cells called chon­dro­cytes. These amaz­ing cells se­crete and re­pair car­ti­lage ma­trix. Any­thing that af­fects chon­dro­cyte cells could cause car­ti­lage dam­age. Me­chan­i­cal force (in­jury) can trig­ger an in­crease in free rad­i­cals which can cause the death of chon­dro­cytes. In some cases it is as much about a fail­ure of cell an­tiox­i­dants de­fences.

The prob­lem is that chon­dro­cytes can­not repli­cate. Once a chon­dro­cyte dies, the tiny patch of car­ti­lage it main­tained will even­tu­ally dis­in­te­grate. The body tries to fix the prob­lem through the process of in­flam­ma­tion which is in­ef­fec­tive it ends up mak­ing the prob­lem worse. In my ex­pe­ri­ence the in­flam­ma­tory part of OA causes more pain and dis­com­fort than the ac­tual car­ti­lage loss.

Just a note that com­monly pre­scribed choles­terol low­er­ing med­i­ca­tion can ei­ther cause joint pain or worsen the pain from ex­ist­ing arthri­tis. In these cases I add a high grade Co en­zyme Q10 (CoQSol) to re­place that lost by the med­i­ca­tion. Call me for de­tails.

I have many clients that are largely symp­tom free despite hav­ing sig­nif­i­cant car­ti­lage loss. I have been deal­ing with a cou­ple where one has an arthritic knee while the other has OA in the spine and hip. I started them on a dou­ble dose of my joint sup­ple­ment.

This meant that they were ini­tially tak­ing 1600mg of both chon­droitin and glu­cosamine and 400mg of a po­tent 95 per cent cur­cumin (turmeric) ex­tract.

I put both of them on a dou­ble dose of my high chon­droitin/turmeric joint prod­uct and both are much more com­fort­able. The sore back is much bet­ter and the hip and knee pain have sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced. Os­teoarthri­tis (OA) is mostly caused by the loss of car­ti­lage se­cret­ing cells called chon­dro­cytes. Their job is to main­tain car­ti­lage. If chon­dro­cytes are dam­aged or die they are un­able to re­pair car­ti­lage. The re­sult is that car­ti­lage starts to break­down. Even­tu­ally whole patches of car­ti­lage are lost caus­ing a bone on bone sce­nario.

While car­ti­lage has no nerves, bone cer­tainly does! While bone on bone causes pain, much of the pain comes from mis­di­rected in­flam­ma­tion. White blood cells that pa­trol the joint cap­sule re­spond to car­ti­lage loss by bring­ing in ex­tra fluid and a cock­tail of in­flam­ma­tory chem­i­cals in a vain at­tempt to re­pair the car­ti­lage. The re­sult is pain, stiff­ness and in some cases vis­i­ble swelling.

My ap­proach is firstly to adopt a nu­tri­ent dense an­ti­in­flam­ma­tory diet.

This is high in an­tiox­i­dants, Omega 3 and other foods that re­duce in­flam­ma­tion. We then add four com­pounds from sup­ple­ments. The first is Omega 3 fish oil usu­ally be­tween 4000 and 6000mg daily. We then add high grade chon­droitin sul­phate at 800-1600mg.

Chon­droitin sul­phate (CS) is the most im­por­tant joint sup­ple­ment. CS is an ac­tual com­po­nent of car­ti­lage and adding this helps chon­dro­cytes to work prop­erly. The prob­lem is that most joint sup­ple­ments only con­tain around 250mg of CS.

In most cases I start clients on 1600mg. We then add the same amount of glu­cosamine and a po­tent 95 per cent cur­cumin ex­tract from turmeric.

As an ex­am­ple I have one client with OA in his knees. This was bad enough to sig­nif­i­cantly im­pact mo­bil­ity.

Af­ter three months on a per­son­alised pro­gramme he is now able to ex­er­cise again. His part­ner had OA in her thumbs and shoul­ders and is much bet­ter. Feel free to con­tact me for per­son­alised ad­vice.

John Arts (B Soc Sci, Dip Tch, Adv Dip Nut Med) is a nutri­tional medicine prac­ti­tioner and founder of Abun­dant Health Ltd. For ques­tions or ad­vice con­tact John on 0800 423559 or email john@abun­dant.co.nz. Join his full weekly news­let­ter at www.abun­dant.co.nz.

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